Sunday, September 16, 2012

The Bazaar by José Andrés in LA

Stuffed Piquillo Peppers

Yes, we came here specifically because of José Andrés. I wasn't quite sure of what to expect, as the various descriptions that I read suggested that there were multiple chambers at this posh venue, each specializing in one thing or another (465 La Cienega Boulevard, 310-246-5555). It turned out that it was basically one huge room but with different sections: the humble lounge-like restaurant, the gaudy bar (easily befitting the locale), and the funky patisserie that one walked over to after dinner.

To add to this, the restaurant's menu was split in half, the left side being the traditional side and the right side being the modern one. We ordered primarily from the traditional side except for a set of "California cones," or basically a California roll made into a pinky-sized ice cream cone, which was surprisingly good. The traditional items were still relatively chic: witness the plating of the piquillo pepper above. The gambas al ajillo likewise came out on white porcelain with some kind of garlic puree rather than the traditional brown ceramic dish.

Well, the things that were particularly memorable for me included the deep taste of the jamón ibérico de bellota. They also served a few things in a can; they were freshly prepared, but just served in a can as if to mimic that Spanish canned seafood thing. And when we finally made it to our cozy alcove in the patisserie for dessert, I went nuts for the grapefruit and olive oil ice cream. Those ingredients sound strange together, but the fragrance of the olive oil totally worked.


Chris H said...

Here in the Washington, DC area there is a small local chain of tapas restaurants called Jaleo. This summer they had an olive oil ice cream that's served with segments of pink grapefruit. It was absolutely incredible. I echo your appraisal of that dessert.

>:D said...

You should definitely try to find the Grill em All truck. And also if you have time, go to Animal. Might need to make reservations but some of the best food you can find in LA.